Easy to Believe in Dead Prophets, Harder, Living Oracles

A Way of Life, Bruce R. McConkie

It seems easy to believe in the prophets who have passed on and to suppose that we believe and follow the counsel they gave under different circumstances and to other people. But the great test that confronts us, as in every age when the Lord has a people on earth, is whether we will give heed to the words of his living oracles and follow the counsel and direction they give for our day and time.

We be Abraham’s children, the Jews said to Jove;
We shall follow our Father, inherit his trove.
But from Jesus our Lord, came the stinging rebuke:
Ye are children of him, whom ye list to obey;
Were ye Abraham’s seed, ye would walk in his path,
And escape the strong chains of the father of wrath.

We have Moses the seer, and the prophets of old;
All their words we shall treasure as silver and gold.
But from Jesus our Lord, came the sobering voice:
If to Moses ye turn, then give heed to his word;
Only then can ye hope for rewards of great worth,
For he spake of my coming and labors on earth.

We have Peter and Paul, in their steps let us trod;
So religionists say, as they worship their God.
But speaks He who is Lord of the living and dead:
In the hands of those prophets, those teachers and seers,
Who abide in your day have I given the keys;
Unto them ye must turn, the Eternal to please.

Accordingly it is my desire to lay before us the plain fact that these humble men who preside over the church and kingdom of God on earth in our day are like unto the prophets and apostles of old and are the ones whom God hath chosen to lead and direct his earthly kingdom in these last days.

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Source: Excerpt from Bruce R. McConkie’s April 1974, General Conference address, God Foreordains His Prophets and His People. Bruce R. McConkie (1915-1985) served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1972 until his death. Prior to his call to full-time service in the Church, McConkie served as an assistant city attorney (1939-42), in military intelligence (1942-46) where he acquired the rank of Lt. Col (one of the youngest in Army Intelligence to hold that rank), and for a time as a reporter for the Deseret News until his call into the First Council of the Seventy in 1946.